Building Legacy Through Advocacy

2022-11-02T22:12:52-04:00October 27th, 2022|Categories: Quality of Life, Support, The Kidney Citizen|

By Yolonda Brisbane, DPC Grassroots Manager As the Grassroots Manager for Dialysis Patients Citizens (DPC) Yolonda recruits and coaches new DPC patient advocates, helps plan and execute our Annual Advocacy Day, and hosts Patient Ambassador training calls. She came to DPC having led youth ambassador programs for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. For her, elevating the voices of dialysis patients is personal work. "When I was fourteen, I lost my father to kidney failure when he refused to go on dialysis. I had no clue about [...]

Supreme Court Erases Kidney Patients’ Insurance Protections

2022-11-02T22:09:11-04:00October 27th, 2022|Categories: Costs for Treatment, The Kidney Citizen, Treatment|

By Megan Hashbarger, DPC Vice President of Government Relations and Jackson Williams, DPC Vice President of Public Policy A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has nullified the law that protects dialysis patients from discrimination by insurers, threatening the system of financing kidney care that has stood for 40 years. The Court ruled that employer health plans may limit dialysis benefits. For four decades, employers understood the law as prohibiting limitations that only applied to dialysis. Some health benefit consultants encouraged a few small employers to disregard the law by paying no more than Medicare rates for dialysis. DaVita [...]

The Social Worker – Patient Relationship: One Social Worker’s Reflections

2022-11-02T22:02:24-04:00October 27th, 2022|Categories: The Kidney Citizen|

By Jean Carosella, LCSW In April 2021, I retired from dialysis social work after working in the same clinic for almost 44 years. I had actually planned to retire a year earlier but the pandemic played a major role in my staying on another year. I just couldn’t leave knowing the stress and worry that COVID was creating for everyone in the clinic, patients and staff alike. But now a year into retirement, I can see one positive outcome for me as a result of the pandemic. COVID forced me to slow down and take the time to reflect [...]

Anemia in People with Chronic Kidney Disease

2022-11-02T21:45:32-04:00October 27th, 2022|Categories: Physical Health, Stages of Kidney Disease, Staying Healthy, The Kidney Citizen|

By Jay Wish, MD Anemia is defined as a lower-than-normal level of hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to all tissues and allows those tissues to carry on their functions, including the creation of building blocks for energy. Hemoglobin is what makes red blood cells red, and this explains why people with low hemoglobin levels may appear pale. Hemoglobin levels less than 13 in men and less than 12 in women is considered anemia. Anemia is common in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and may have many causes. It [...]

Navigating a Renal Diet: Decoding the Mystery

2022-11-02T21:39:30-04:00October 27th, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Nutrition, Staying Healthy, The Kidney Citizen|

By Fanny Sung Whelan, MS, RDN, LDN How to navigate a renal diet based on your kidneys’ needs No matter what stage of kidney disease you’re in, all of the different diet recommendations can cause your head to spin. Pair it with other conditions you may have, and you’ve got a real recipe for confusion! So how can you sort out all of the differences in what you can and can’t eat? Here we are going to outline the diet guidelines for the different stages of kidney disease. Disclaimer: it is important to discuss any diet changes with your [...]

Conquering Dialysis Fatigue

2022-11-02T21:28:52-04:00October 27th, 2022|Categories: Physical Health, Quality of Life, Staying Healthy, The Kidney Citizen|

By Patricia McCarley, RN, MSN, ACNP and Felicia Speed, PhD, LMSW Patients on dialysis may complain of an intense feeling of tiredness or fatigue with 60-97% of patients finding it as important a health outcome as mobility or pain. While it may be difficult to identify the exact cause, patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end stage renal disease (ESRD) have several factors contributing to fatigue, including uremia, an increased level of waste products in the blood, and anemia, a decrease in red blood cell production. Anemia is a condition in which your body does not [...]

Advanced Care Planning: Turning “What If?” Into “Here’s How”

2022-11-02T21:15:06-04:00October 27th, 2022|Categories: Quality of Life, The Kidney Citizen, Uncategorized|

By David L. Mahoney, MD, FASN, FASDIN A number of years ago, I attended a lecture on Advance Care Planning. The speaker was a very engaging man who had recently dealt with end-of-life issues for a loved one. There were about 150 people in attendance at the lecture, which began with a series of questions: “How many of you have life insurance?” Virtually every hand in the room went up. “How many of you have a will?” About three quarters of the hands were raised. “How many of you have a living will?” About 10% of hands were raised [...]

Telehealth with a Behavioral Health Professional: What to Know Before You Start

2022-11-02T21:08:16-04:00October 27th, 2022|Categories: Mental Health, The Kidney Citizen|

By Kirsten Weir If you or a family member is managing chronic kidney disease, you’re probably thinking a lot about physical health—the health of the kidney and the rest of the body. Caring for your behavioral health is just as important. And with telehealth options that let you see a behavioral health professional from your home, it’s more convenient than ever. “The increased availability and acceptance of telehealth might be one of the few positive changes to come out of the [COVID-19] pandemic,” says Amy Walters, PhD, a clinical health psychologist and the director of Behavioral Health Services for St. [...]

Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Ever End?

2022-11-02T21:40:19-04:00August 1st, 2022|Categories: Dialysis, eNews, Immunizations, Mental Health, The Kidney Citizen|Tags: |

By Alan S. Kliger, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, and Chair, Excellence in Patient Care Advisory Committee, American Society of Nephrology Updated October 2022 Some recent quotes I’ve heard - - - I’ll bet you have too: “Who can even pay attention when the subject of COVID-19 is raised?” “Enough already – I’m through with it” “What’s the difference? Even with vaccines and boosters, I still got COVID twice!” After nearly three years of this pandemic, COVID-19 infection has gone from a frightening and deadly disease to a major disruptor of our lives, to [...]

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